If you were to die suddenly, what would happen to your kids?
Mums and Dads, does your Will protect your most valuable asset?
Although family is always at the forefront of our minds, when drafting a Will, we tend to focus on the financial side of things and miss what really matters most. As a parent to young children, there are steps you can take to ensure your child remains protected and cared for should you and your partner both pass away prematurely.
It is important to be aware that “What if” discussions and arrangements informally made with close family or friends make no guarantees as to who will become your child’s alternate guardian in such event. Under Section 13 of the Guardianship of Infants Act 1940 (SA), each parent may appoint an individual of their choice within their Will to be the guardian of their minor child/children. Although the Court retains discretion in nominating a guardian best suited in the interests of the child, an individual appointed within the Will of the deceased parent(s) will be a particularly influential consideration.
What is a testamentary guardian?
A testamentary guardian will bear responsibility of both the short-term and long-term care of the minor, including vital decisions made with respect to education, health and development. Guardians appointed by a deceased parent may begin acting jointly with the surviving parent until the minor reaches the age of 18, provided there are no objections, or alternatively, the guardianship may take effect after the death of the last surviving parent.
Who should you appoint?
Appointing a testamentary guardian is one of the toughest decisions you and your partner will face as parents. It should therefore be well-considered, openly discussed and mutually agreed upon to avoid any dispute-related stress. If you are currently seeking guidance as to who would be the best fit, here are some helpful considerations:
· The guardian’s values and parenting style, particularly any similarities with your own;
· The guardian’s age and physical fitness;
· Their ability to financially support your child;
· Any lifestyle considerations, including their location and whether your child would be displaced from their current city or school;
· The guardian’s relationship with your child; and
· Their willingness to take on the role.
Being a family-based firm, CPC Lawyers understand the need to ensure your little ones are given the best possible chance at life. Our highly experienced Wills & Estate Planning solicitors are here to assist you with implementing a testamentary guardian into your Will. Contact (08) 7325 0219 to book an appointment with our team today.